Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Portland councillors to benefit from 'Round Robin'

Published:Friday | February 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis/Gleaner Writer

PORT ANTONIO, Portland:

After several months of deliberation, councillors assigned to the Portland Municipal Corporation are now benefiting from a new initiative dubbed 'Round Robin', where they will each receive a substantial amount of money to undertake emergency work in their respective divisions.

Under the Round Robin, councillors will receive $1.5 million in a revolving scheme.

The new sum, which was welcomed by all nine sitting councillors, should go a far way in alleviating some of the challenges faced by residents who were badly affected by the recent flood rains.

"I know that councillors are upbeat over this new initiative," said Mayor of Port Antonio Paul Thompson.

He continued: "For the first time since the local government elections of 2016, each councillor will benefit directly from this Round Robin. This kind of allocation is necessary, as there have been complaints from councillors about not having enough to spend in their divisions. But now that this new initiative is in place, they are excited, as they will be able to do a lot more."

The first three councillors who will benefit from the Round Robin are Dexter Rowland of the Port Antonio division, Derron Wood of the Fairy Hill division, and Mayor Thompson of the Manchioneal division. Under the Round Robin, three councillors will receive the allocation each month.

And with the parish receiving a heavy battering from three weeks of torrential rainfall, which resulted in multiple land slippages, mud slide, and roadblocks, councillors are optimistic that the increased amount will allow them to undertake more work so as to restore sections of the ravaged communities.

"This could not come at a better time," said Stephen Williams, councillor for Saint Margaret's Bay division in West Portland.

He added: "We will now be able to restore some roadways, making them drivable and accessible to vehicular traffic. Drains and culverts will be erected, and those of us who work closely with the schools will be able to provide more to needy students."

The corporation comprises seven Jamaica Labour Party councillors and two councillors from the People's National Party.

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